Story By: JUSTIN SNYDER / PORT ROYAL SPEEDWAY – PORT ROYAL, PA – After 134 long days without racing activity, the sounds of engines are set to return to the Juniata County air this Sunday, March 6th, as the Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Cars and the Krill Recycling, LLC Super Late Models take to the track for the 80th Annual Port Royal Speedway Opening Day presented by Packer’s Concessions, LLC..
In what has been a recent tradition, the Speedway will again utilize a Sunday opener where the Sprint Cars will compete for a $5000 winner’s share while the Super Late Models will race for a $3000 to-win prize.
All gates open at 11A.M, while racing is set to kick off at 2 P.M. Adult admission is $20, while students are $10. Pit admission is $30.
Last year, Lance Dewease scored his fourth career Opening Day triumph over Kerry Madsen, Dylan Cisney, Jeff Halligan and Logan Wagner.
Wagner enters 2022 as the series defending champion and is looking to become the first driver to ever win five consecutive track points championships. Wagner’s championship last season tied him with all-time winningest driver, Keith Kauffman (1978-1981), as the only drivers to go four-in-a-row. Speaking of Kauffman, Dewease sits 10 back of the ‘Man from Mifflintown’ on the career wins list with 119 victories and will be looking to chip away at that total for his fifth career opening day trophy.
Anthony Macri earned four victories last season and tied Dewease for the winningest driver in 2020. However, unlike Dewease, he will be searching for his first career opening day triumph at the Speedway. You can expect a who’s-who list of regular competitors and expected invaders searching for the $5000 prize and a spot in the record books.
The last driver to triumph on opening day and go on to claim the season ending track points title was Todd Shaffer in 2008.
Valley Supply will again serve as the series hard charger presenter and there will be $500 on the line for the driver who passes the most cars. This will also be the second season of their fan incentive program where the fans will have the opportunity to bring home various Valley Supply swag and possibly $50 or $75 cash and tickets for the following week’s racing event.
Also returning this season is the Jim and Sandy Kline J&S Classics Warrior Award where one lucky driver will earn $1000 extra as a result of a random draw. This award is designed specifically to benefit those who finish farther back in the field and drivers eligible will be positions 7-24. Last season saw 21 different drivers bring home the $1000 prize and the award has become a driver and fan favorite!
In Super Late Model competition, Virginia’s Trevor Feathers scored the opening day triumph last season for the second consecutive season over Tyler Bare, Ross Robinson, Colton Flinner and Dan Stone. Dylan Yoder went on to score the season ending points championship in a nail-biter that went down to the final turn of the season over Gary Stuhler, Flinner, Jeff Rine and Robinson.
The Super Late Models have been a part of opening day festivities yearly since 2013 and last year’s win for Feathers joins him with Andy Haus and Jason Covert as drivers with two career triumphs in the event. Other drivers to claim victory in the division on opening day are Tim Wilson, Mike Lupfer and Rine. Rine turned his triumph into a track championship in 2018.
For the second consecutive season, the series will race for a minimum of $3000 to win and $300 to start all season. This is the highest weekly purse for super late models in the entire country and is made possible this season thanks to the addition of Krill Recyling as the series presenting sponsor.
Georges Used Cars. will serve as the presenter of the series hard charger award for the second consecutive season with the driver passing the most cars at the end of the night earning a cool $200 in cash. Driver’s must be carrying a decal that will be passed around earlier in the night to be eligible.
Fans in attendance will also receive 2022 magnet schedules at the front gate courtesy of Juniata Beverage – Tyson Hill.
Weather permitting, there will also be an open practice at the Speedway on Saturday, March 5th from 1-4pm. The session is open to any division cars participating at the Speedway in 2021 and grandstand admission is free for any fans wishing to catch a glimpse of the facilities/cars. Gates open at 11 A.M.